DICE: ‘We Need To Stop Ourselves From Going Too Hardcore’ With Battlefield 4

While Battlefield 4 developers DICE are hard at work making sure the next entry in the long-running series is as epic as epic can be, Creative Director Lars Gustavsson admits that, on more than one occasion, the studio had to stop themselves from going “too hardcore” with the game.

“To be honest, our problem isn’t to not think about the hardcore, rather, there are so many people like me doing Battlefield since ’99 or at least 2000 that everyday we need to stop ourselves from going too hardcore, we really have to hold ourselves back,” he told Polygon when asked how DICE plans to add new features to the game while appeasing hardcore Battlefield vets. “That is the natural gear that we have: the hardcore side. Then we need to remind ourselves that we need to make it for everyone.”

“Even though people have been playing Battlefield from the start, they choose not to fly because they don’t feel safe,” he added. “So it is not about losing sight of the hardcore. If you look at hardcore forums, there are so many times that you see ‘I don’t how this weapon works or this gadget’ and then everyone tells each other. It is beautiful. It is just beautiful. But sometimes you feel that a game should be self explaining, it doesn’t have to be more stupid.”

For example, weapons now display proper stats so gamers are more aware of what weapon does what and how certain attachments affect weapons, as he admits that even he who made the game “had a hard time knowing which attachment did what for what weapon.”

On top of that, newcomers, or those simply looking for a little more practice with vehicles and gadgets, will be happy to take full advantage of Battlefield 4’s new battle test range.

  • mhal

    Translation: We(Dice) would have made the game better but EA wants more clueless 12 year old COD gamers to buy our product, and we have to hold back on new features so we can have stuff to put in BF 5, 6, and 7.

    • MC-ARNIE

      Hole in one right there!

    • WarBroh

      God if that ain’t the truth. Look no further than the silly RPG that tracks laser now for a 1-click multi-kill just for pointing at a big orange box in the sky. Absurd.

      • J.Bizzle

        Wish I could like this 1000 times. This is going to be the first battlefield game I dont buy since the original. . The non stop assault on removing skill from battlefield has ruined the game forever. And if you think im wrong. Go use a javelin

        Besides Planetside 2 is way more epic. AND RAINBOW six is coming back.. so dice. U got what u wanted. . Running off a life time fan

    • TI_21

      I’m pretty sure EA gives DICE free rein over their product…
      Simply put they just want to create a great, enjoyable game for more people than the most hardcore audience without losing the focus on them.

    • Johnny Neat

      Also we at DICE didn’t actually make the user interface on BF3 and it turned out shitty missing key components and option settings expected by current gamers in FPS.

    • Taylor Cogdill

      Omg…. players know so little about the game industry, and they always make judgmental statements when they have not the slightest idea of how the development process works.

      While it does happen, the important thing to remember is most of the time in most cases, publishers let developers develop their game. The only genre where publishers really dig their hands into dev’s business is in the MMO world; publishers always try to make any MMO they sponsor into WoW. People will admit to that.

      In fact, developers usually always admit when they feel a publisher is involving themselves too much. Research it: DICE has never complained about working with EA. One could argue that DICE would keep quiet so they can keep their game, but that is a proof-less claim. I’ve looked for 20 minutes for ANYTHING suggesting discontent on DICE’s side, and nothing has presented itself so far.

      Publishers will make suggestions and requirements, such as a release date or hardware/software it should run on, but the game mechanics itself are almost always left up to the developers. Publishers know they don’t make the games, so they usually don’t try to. EA knows the only reason BF is successful is because DICE is an incredible development company, and letting them do their work is what makes BF good. Everybody blamed the glitchyness of BF3 on the fact EA made them publish it before WE felt the game was ready, but the truth is BF3 was a glitchy game. Years after release, they STILL have bugs and balance issues that were there from day one. DICE isn’t perfect, and stop trying to scapegoat their shortcomings on EA.

      I’m seriously getting sick of people scoffing at every non-hardcore catering choice DICE makes; is it REALLY so hard for you guys to believe DICE legitimately cares about it’s casual players? You’ve got to realize you’re not the only gamer in the world, and not everybody likes hardcore. Not everybody likes having to look up stats, and rent a server just to practice, and do tests, and make tactics etc. Remember, no matter how hardcore you think you are in BF, EVERYBODY started as a casual player. DICE knows this, that is why they are trying to make the game more casual friendly, because ultimately more casuals means more hardcores in the end.

      There has been a trend rising lately of hardcore players really hating on and looking down on casual players. At every turn, hardcore players flame non-hardcore decisions, blame BF’s shortcomings on having to cater to console/casual players, and try to make the hardcore world as inaccessible as possible to casual players. Yes, it pisses me off too when a player doesn’t just drop ammo because he doesn’t put the thought in, but the guy is playing a game. This isn’t life and death. Make a group of hardcore players for yourself and stop expecting everybody in PUGs to play at your level. You need both sides: casual and hardcore. Without hardcore, you wouldn’t have the focus on mechanics that BF dishes out, and without casuals YOU WOULDN’T BE PLAYING THESE GAMES RIGHT NOW. Without millions of casuals pumping billions of dollars into the game industry, we’d all still be playing 16 bit games.

      And to address specific statements and why that “translation” is completely ignorant on many levels:

      We(Dice) would have made the game more complex
      If you give developers infinite time, they’ll never release something. If you’ve ever worked in the software business, you know developers NEVER feel like a product is done when they release it, but if they aren’t given a deadline, they won’t produce anything. It’ll just keep getting bigger and more complex to the point where it literally won’t run anymore.

      and skill-based
      Is there anything in BF4 that is not skill based? Is there anything in the game that is unfair to hardcore players? Maybe stingers, but without them air vehicles would WRECK the game, just like they are doing in beta now.

      EA wants more 12 year old COD gamers to buy their product
      Again, this is an example of a rising elitist prejudice on hardcores’ parts. 12 year old CoD players are gamers too, and you have no right to speak so judgmentally about them. I personally don’t like CoD, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like CoD players, nor is the fact that somebody plays CoD a statement of their intelligence, maturity, or any other personal factor. Furthermore, there is NO proof that EA has forced DICE to cater to a CoD style; the only time it has ever gotten anywhere near that was with closequarters, and they did that right, and it was DICE’s own invention, not EA’s.

      and we have to hold back on implementing new features so we can have stuff to put in BF 5, 6, and 7
      This is the most ignorant statement of them all. There is NO proof anywhere that DICE has ever held back features they could have put in a game for the sole purpose of having content for the next game. Ever. In any game they have ever made. DICE may make a list of ideas and prioritize them, forcing some features to not make it to the final version because of time constraints, but that is a necessary evil. They have never held back anything just so they can make sequels. Nor is there any proof EA has forced them to do such a thing. Stop speculating and stop spreading rumors.

      Take this dev’s statement at face value; they know there are more people out there than just hardcores. They know if they cater to only one audience or play style, the game will be stale and stagnate. You need a wide variety of players with a wide variety of pov-s to gain a better view of the game. One great example is the stats bars. Hardcores have always just looked up the stats on guns, but now there is a graphical representation, an understandable one at that. The only reason DICE considered that was they realized the stats system was vague to casual players, and everybody stands to gain from the stats bars. Stop trying to put words in DICE’s mouth and implying EA is wrecking DICE or games DICE makes, because all that does is make the development process more difficult for DICE.

      I’m not saying EA is perfect. I’m not even saying they are the best publishing company. I’m not even saying they’ve never ran a dev company into the ground, but what I can tell you is it’s obvious when they do, and they are not doing that to DICE. Get over yourself; you’re one gamer, and you have no idea how the development process or the developer-publisher relationship works, and it’s obvious.

      • zakrocz

        Excellent post, totally agree!
        And I’d just like to add I believe from the beta and all the other info we have so far that this battlefield is going to offer the most in depth battlefield we’ve seen.
        For some reason there are gamers who think hardcore or more complex equals a total lack of in game information so you have to spend hours trying to work out how stuff works or search the forums. That isn’t hardcore that’s just bad design.

  • Ben

    That would explain the ridiculous lock on RPG’s and childish emblems. The moment a game has a ‘Report Emblem’ button, then you know it’s aiming to please the lowest common denominator. Seeing a heli flying past with Spongebob on the tail sure does wonders for immersion.

    • ShiroH

      It sure does.

      • dieger

        technically those aren’t emblems but pictures taped or glued to the APC but i get the picture 😀

      • AtheistMason

        Call of QB, lolz

      • Ben

        Because that looks the same as…

    • meds

      Pretty sure the lock on RPG’s are a bug that aren’t going to be in the main game.

      • It’s not a bug. It was made in the game that way.

        • zakrocz

          It also hasn’t been confirmed whether lock on RPGs will be in the final game as tweeted by Demize a couple of days ago

          • WarBroh

            No, what Alan Kertz (Demize99) said was that they had not yet decided if they would remove them. Big difference. That means they were planned for the retail game and that’s absurd.

        • AtheistMason

          That’s quite a stupid change….

        • zacflame

          This concept is EVIL.

    • BoxcuttahPazzy

      How are they ridiculous? Lock on RPG’s are a thing, they are supposed to be a game. RPG-7’s with seekers on them. The only thing is right now it’s bugged and doesn’t display a warning to pilots.

      As far as the emblems I agree. But still, creative freedom is nice to have for soldier personalization. Every soldier does it in some form or another in the military.

      • moose



        show me anywhere in there where it says the RPG can guide itself to laser designated targets


        • Mr. Thuggins

          To be fair, he never mentioned laser guided.

          • Katana67

            You’re right, he said “with seekers on them”. Profoundly un-academic description aside, no RPG-7 launcher or ammunition has a guided quality. They are all unguided.

            • Mr. Thuggins

              Never said he was correct…

      • Katana67

        They aren’t guided, they make no ammunition for the RPG-7 that homes. It’s a complete fabrication, and a totally unnecessary one given that we already have hyper-effective Stingers/Iglas and Javelins.

      • zacflame

        If they do that, they should at least slow down the speed of RPG rounds while chasing a designation, OR make it turn slow, so that it can still miss fast-movers.
        Another thing- IMO, only LAWs/SMAWs should be free-fire or lock-on.

        • Katana67

          Why? Neither the M72 LAW nor the SMAW have any type of lock-on interface either.

          Again, I ask you all, what the hell was the matter with having the Stinger/Igla and the Javelin? If anything, in my opinion, they were overpowered. So why then do we need an RPG with -more- capability?

          I liked it, although that’s a strong word, when you had to I don’t know… CHOOSE. Rather than having everything at all times. You want a lock-on launcher? Cool! We have those! They come at a price though, you can’t use one against ground targets or free-fire and you can’t use the other free-fire or without a lock on aircraft. Balance.

          Now every swingin’ dick Engineer has the ability to take out aircraft accurately via lock-on, and you can bet PLDs are going to be far more prevalent than SOFLAMs were in BF3.

          • TI_21

            No one used a Javelin, so no one used a SOFLAM.
            No one used a SOFLAM so no one used a Javelin.
            That’s the reasoning behind it.

            Though I see myself using the PLD for it’s IRNV and rangefinder capabilities, so it might be used by others as well even without lock-on RPGs.

            • zacflame

              Lol, I always used the javelin and always used a SOFLAM, and I played on console.

            • TI_21

              Sure, some do use them a lot. However that’s a pretty rare case and imo just not worth it with tanks using smoke, low ammo and it being necessary to get out of cover for an extended time w/o SOFLAMs/Tank Commanders.
              I doubt the Javelin will become as common as RPGs.

              @Katana Good point with TUGS/MAVs being in the same slot.

            • zacflame

              On PS3, having a Javelin is as common as having a sidearm.

            • zakrocz

              I only played CTF once it came out and I can tell you there were always soflam and javelin users pretty much every round

            • Katana67

              The reason why the SOFLAM wasn’t used is because it took the place of other more useful things, like the MAV and T-UGS. The only reason I used the MAV is to spot other people. Now that the PLD is in, I can now spot people (with the IRNV) and laze targets. I can even walk around with it! It’s a portable SOFLAM. It will radically change how many locks we see on average.

            • zakrocz

              As a tanker I can tell you that in my experience I was constantly being locked on to by air, other armour and inf javelin users so I don’t expect it to be vastly different in BF4

          • zacflame

            You help my argument in most cases.
            I never had any problem with the javelin. The stingers and iglas are an overpowered royal dick in the butt.
            I just hate how you have the highest damage launcher able to do everything.

            • Katana67

              That’s because I agree with you! I’m just confused as to why you’d suggest the M72 LAW (which aren’t in BF) or SMAWs should be free-fire OR lock-on. They don’t have any guided/locking capabilities, same as the RPG-7.

              And yes, the RPG-7 now is a jack of all trades. I’ve noticed this trend, though I’m hesitant to pin it on Engineers, where DICE has consistently attempted at giving Engineers the power to do everything. The Javelin will be more effective now with PLDs probably becoming more widespread than SOFLAMs, and the MANPADS (AA launchers) have always been powerful.

              I just see no reason to make any un-guided AT launcher, guided… ever. Especially when we’ve got alternatives. Plus, the return of the SRAW is going to change things as well.

            • Taylor Cogdill

              You do realize air v ground combat is supposed to be hit and run, right? Everybody tries to play copters like they should be able to stay in an encounter for 15 minutes, when in fact a chopper (and this is true to real life) is supposed to peak out of cover, establish a run, and the run should only take a few seconds. Then you break line of sight and move on. No wonder everybody thinks iglas are OP. They aren’t, people just don’t play copters the right way. I use hit and run tactics and I hardly ever have issues with iglas/stingers.

            • zakrocz

              Very true. I tank a lot and play engineer on vehicle maps and after the last patch finally offered some balance for choppers vs ground, the skilled pilots adapted their tactics to the hit and run style and were still successful. The ones who stayed in the open too much and didn’t adapt got taken down pretty quickly and proceeded to complain on every forum about weak choppers.

      • WarBroh

        Ridiculous because they take zero skill just to point&click an orange box in the sky. That dumbs the game down for the lowest common denominator CoD kids, and has a trickle-down effect on the rest of the game.

        • Zatanna XOXOXOXO

          Well without any homing missiles (either from AA or guided rockets) it would have been nearly impossible to shoot down the gunships in BF3. In some respect (depending on the aircrafts present in this game) they are needed. Try playing against an enemy team that steals all the vehicles and flies their helicopters high all the time without lock on AA, that is just begging for a broken game. Pilots get fair warning and they get flares, so there really is nothing wrong with this, especially in extreme circumstances.

          • Katana67

            The gunships are -far- easier to take out with the main cannons of Jets. By a lot.

            The issue, in my mind, isn’t with homing missiles being included at all, or their supposed “lack of skill”. It’s with them become PERVASIVE on the battlefield. Every Engineer and every vehicle has some sort of super-effective AA lock-on capability.

            It should be a role which you spec your loadout to (i.e. make a meaningful sacrifice for), not something that you just get in addition to everything else.

            Not to mention that aircraft can be brought down -easily- by .50 turrets and tank rounds. There’s just too much that aircraft have against them at this point. It makes flying not fun, when you have to constantly venture off-target to avoid a hailstorm of missiles. I rarely get killed by guided AA, but it interrupts what I can offer my team considerably (to a debilitating degree sometimes).

            And the problem with teams getting all the vehicles is a separate issue, which could EASILY be solved by locking enemy players out of vehicles when they’re close to their original spawn. Both from a “realism” point of view and a “balance” point of view.

    • Katana67

      The bigger question, is why the f*** do we need lock-on AT launchers in the first place? What was wrong with the super effective Stinger/Igla? Or the Javelin?

      • mhal

        Pretty soon all the guns, explosives, and even the knives will be lock-on. It’ll attract COD fans. That way we can have more people screaming obscenities, and homophobic slurs over the coms and the game will have become a true success!

        • Mr. Thuggins

          Don’t you fuckin say that shit, queer!

          • dieger

            …..the truth hurts…..

        • Rave

          Hell, even the aim assist has been increased significantly for the console version of the game.

          • Ben

            The aim assist is awful in its current state. I’d gladly see aim assist taken out of the game completely.

    • James Mulhall

      Immersion on an FPS shooter? No thanks.

    • Primey0

      “waaaaaah wahhhh my immersion!”

  • DBMgamer

    I say go more “Hardcore”…. like dis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSnsr8nkr4Q

    • freegan morman

      XD lol

  • Jack S.

    DICE! Pleas take away the new reload system. I reload after every kill so I burn through bullets very quickly.

    • BoxcuttahPazzy

      Then stop reloading after every kill.

      • Lol

        He doesn’t need to. In the release version, the “mag pool” reload system will be restricted to Hardcore, and not Normal gamemodes.

    • mhal

      DICE! Please take away the part where getting shot causes death. I like to run out into the open and get blown up so I burn though lives very quickly.

      • asdf

        Don’t be such a dick, man.

        And Jack, I have the same issue- I’m so used to the “Kill, Reload, Repeat” pattern that I’ve used in BC2 and BF3 that it’s burned into me.

        Just a matter of practice to get rid of it (If we have to- Good spot there, Lol (The person)).

        • Storm_Worm5364

          As I said to Jack: —> It’s just on Hardcore. Please, think and/or look at your HUD.

    • Storm_Worm5364

      It’s just on Hardcore. Please, think and/or look at your HUD.

      • Mike

        Dis guy “hard to the core” EA? I love playing games, call me casual but I refuse to act like an idiot or hardcore. Yes, hardcore gamerzEl1tez trick-shotz act like idiots. They give gamers a bad stereotype.

        • Zatanna XOXOXOXO

          Smh…… He was referring to the game mode set called “hardcore”, not “hardcore” gamers.

    • Sounds like a p.p

  • captain phillips

    I just want the game. I am sick of waiting and reading articles. My body is ready. My mind is ready. And my PS4 better be ready. Lol

  • Yevgenij Pekurovskyy

    Dice maybe you put training with bots into the game?

  • meds

    I for one am so glad they have included a test range to practice with all the vehicles.
    I didn’t really get into the vehicles in BF3 because I wasn’t any good at flying etc so just left it to more talented people. Now it will be good to learn how to fly etc without worrying about hurting my team.

  • Mr. Thuggins

    …and people accuse IW of using marketing speak.

    • WarBroh

      ain’t nobody got time for your Call of Daycare hurt feelings

      • Mr. Thuggins

        Nice edit. I’m amazed that only one person and not a team of writers, can come up with such witty comments.

        You do realize I play Battlefield as well, right?

  • Katana67

    You haven’t been in danger of catering to the “hardcore”, ever DICE. Don’t worry…

    I just hope they haven’t actually let this type of attitude bleed over into traditional “Hardcore” by association. I hope they really, and absolutely mean, “veterans”. Because “hardcore” is sort of hyperbolic and unnecessary.

    Features are either good, or they aren’t. Who cares what playerbase you’re catering to?

  • awkenney

    The BF4 beta looks freaking awesome. Everything feels awesome. But the factor that keeps me from playing BF3 and BF4 is that there are so many things built into the game that contradict playing the objectives. It also feels like squad spawning controls every round. A team can win any round in the beta with vehicle positioning, multiple random sniper locations, and squad spawning. Boring.

    • betosobreira

      Spawning on a friend in the squad that is dying… this pisses me off.

      • Storm_Worm5364

        You can clearly see what the fuck is going on, just don’t spawn there.

      • Mike

        This…… Immediate turn off.. I refuse to lose against cheap asses. BF3 had a terrible spawn camping problem, I quit playing it after they so called fixed it.

  • dpg70

    “If you look at hardcore forums, there are so many times that you see ‘I don’t how this weapon works or this gadget’ and then everyone tells each other. It is beautiful. It is just beautiful. ”

    Clearly he’s not talking about Battlelog.

    • dieger

      god that place……its like the 4chan of gaming forums

      • WarBroh

        Except on 4chan you’ll see the occasional witty post. Not so for Battlelog, its just 24×7 console kids screaming and hurling gerbers.

        • dieger

          oh no you see there are witty posts….atleast their WERE witty posts but mods locked em….

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  • MegaMan3k

    If IW said “we can’t make it about the hardcore, we have to make it for everybody” about Call of Duty, the community would be livid and taking out their pitchforks.

  • roland0811

    Battlefield 3 and 4’s mortar is a prime example of dumbing down a weapon’s gameplay mechanic and then nerfing it to oblivion because you used too simple of an aiming mechanic to use it. It never was that the mortar was over powered in BF3, it was that it was just so easy to use everyone was spamming it. DICE are just too blind to see they need to take another route with their indirect fire weapons. “Point and click” mini-maps for things like that just ruin any kind of balance.

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  • Nicholas Lovett

    “Sometimes you feel like a game should be self-explaining, it doesn’t have to be more stupid.”

    They’re insulting COD, especially the new Zombies map. They tell you nothing about how to do the story, u just have to find out yourself or just shoot and kill >:<

  • Seth

    People left COD for BF and most fell in love with BF. So part of this is that the “veterans” are being given what seems like a awesome ship that is being steered towards the COD port instead of the BF port, which it has docked at previously. I have alot of friends who are in the same boat. I left COD for BF and now BF is trying to have CODs illegitamate child. LMAO. I need another FPS now.

    • zakrocz

      I hear this a lot but in what way is BF becoming more like COD? Even BF3’s TDM played out nothing like COD’s TDM.

      • Seth

        They are oversimplifying the game and pushing for more fast paced, pick up and play games. I LOVED playing BF because it took time to learn the games quirks and there was room for you to improve and get better. With COD, I was always as good as I could be simply because you really didn’t need to learn anything and everything pretty much was left to luck for a majority of the encounters. Whoever had the better connection at the moment was the most prominent for me. I felt the exact same with the BF4 beta.

        • zakrocz

          Ok, let’s take BF2 as an example, apparently the best game in the series according to the so called BF vets, though its not even close to being my favourite bf game in the series.

          Tell me what is more complex about BF2 over the BF4 beta?

          Lets take vehicle gameplay, the staple of any battlefield game. With the introduction of disablement in BF3 and now with BF4 we have an even more complex disablement system that allows you to temporarily immobilize vehicles depending on where you hit them. We also have lock on weapons and counter measures in BF3/4. What did BF2 have in comparison?

          I’m my opinion BF4 is going to be the most in depth battlefield we’ve ever had. Just because we have lock on weapons doesn’t mean the game is dumbed down, its actually making the game harder if you’re in a vehicle and forcing vehicle whores like me to learn new tactics and skills.

          The infantry gunplay in BF3/4 is light years ahead of BF2, the number of weapons and gadgets we will get to use in BF4 excites me.

          By making the game more accessibly to newcomers is not the definition of dumbing down, this isn’t a single player dumbed down experience that you could accuse Bioshock Infinite or Far Cry 3 of, newcomers are still going to have to spend a lot of hours if they want to excel at the game online and rightly so.

          I’ve put in 850 hours into BF3 and there’s still new tactics I’m learning.

          • Seth

            I’m not talking about the laser RPGs. I don’t care about that. I respect your opinion but my mind is made up already

            • zakrocz

              Ok fair enough. I just don’t think many people who didnt play BF2 because of the BF2 vets think it was some super complex game compared to BF3/4 and it wasn’t, it was just harder to newcomers than BF3/4

            • J.Bizzle

              Its about them taking as much skill out of the game as they can.. if everyone who is a vet is talking about It then its not fantasy

    • J.Bizzle

      Planetside 2 and tom Clancy my friend

  • Hot-Wire

    At least don’t hold back in “hardcore” mode.

  • Marcin Kubica

    Look what they’ve done to Medal of Honor Warfighter – totally changed it, not just on the story but it was…let’s face it, a failure to make a COD with enhanced graphics. BF4 is already having what it didn’t have in BF2BC2 and BF3 but has something familiar to the gameplay, it’s not as apparent as in new MOH, more like a spicing than the core. Yet it’s not fully BF3, at least on PS3. And some very old saying was “you can satisfy everyone”. So why try to? Adds too much watering. Why change that, how many ppl bought Premium?

  • Pj Oxendine

    I miss the days when video games weren’t made for everyone but instead they were made for gamers. You know people that like to kick back in a good old virtual world and enjoy a challenge. I also miss that moment were you realize that you just made a circle and have to back track because you realize you haven’t seen a enemy in a while. I miss loading up multiplayer and getting completely destroyed and realizing that you want to be that good and knowing you were going to have to work for it because the game actually took skill and kills weren’t handed out on silver plater.

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